Friday, October 23, 2015

Sword Art Online - Fairy Dance

Story by Reki Kawahara
Art by Tsubasa Hazuki

Since this one's 3 book manga series I'm going to post it one review.

Summaries from GoodReads

Kazuto Kirigaya (aka Kirito) has survived the death game of Aincrad masterminded by Akihiko Kayaba, programmer of Sword Art Online, and made it back to the real world. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Asuna Yuuki (aka Asuna the Flash), the girl Kirito fell in love with in the game world and who has yet to awaken from her seemingly endless slumber. As his sister, Suguha, sadly looks on, Kazuto continues to visit Asuna in the hospital in the hope of finding answers... But one day, the answers suddenly find him in the form of a man who claims to be Asuna's fiancé?! With him, the man brings an in-game screenshot of someone who looks a lot like Asuna being held captive! Now Kirito must dive into an all-new VRMMORPG, ALfheim Online, to bring Asuna home!!

Kirito jumps into a new VRMMORPG called ALfheim Online (ALO) in search of Asuna, who still hasn't regained consciousness. On his quest to find the World Tree and reach Asuna, he meets a sylph girl named Leafa. A veteran player experienced with the sword, Leafa recognizes that Kirito is motivated by serious circumstances and decides to help him. But...Leafa's identity in the real world is Suguha Kirigaya--Kirito's sister. And it's the glimmer of her beloved brother she sees in Kirito that prompts her to lend him a hand. Now, despite the conflicting interests guiding them on, the pair set off on a journey to the World Tree!!

Having defeated General Eugene of the salamanders and aided the alliance between sylphs and cait siths by protecting their leaders, Kirito and Leafa reach Alne, the town at the foot of the World Tree, at long last. But before they can tackle the tree--and their main objective--server maintenance begins, and they are forced to log out. Back in the real world, Kazuto and Suguha Kirigaya, each unaware of the other's in-game identity, pay a visit to Asuna Yuuki, who still lies asleep in her hospital room. While there, Suguha suffers a terrible shock when she realizes just how strongly her beloved brother cares for Asuna.
Meanwhile Asuna, still imprisoned atop the World Tree within the game world of ALfheim Online, sets her escape plan in motion... 
The adventure in ALO finally reaches its climax! Enjoy the conclusion of the Fairy Dance arc in this massive final volume!

Thoughts on the Series

A coworker recommend the Sword Art Online (SAO) Anime for me to watch.  I loved it.  So when I happened to go into a bookstore and saw the manga I grabbed this three book series. I was only halfway through the anime at the time, so I grabbed this arc because Kirito looked so awesome with elf ears.  I did finish the anime before I started reading though.  This series is the second half of season 1 of SAO.

My Review

This story arc picks up almost immediately after the Aincrad arc ends.  Kirito learns that there are about 300 players that never woke up after game, including his in-game wife, Asuna.  Kirito delves back into a VRMMORPG (Alfheim) in order to save Asuna.

I read this manga while watching the anime, and while I really enjoyed the manga, the anime was better.  And I learned that that manga is three times removed from the original.  Usually manga gets translated to anime.  This story was odd, it started as a light novel then was adapted as an anime, once the anime became popular it was adapted as a manga.  The illustrator for Fairy Dance also wasn't the same illustrator that worked on the original arc, Aincrad.  All that being said the manga didn't really stand up to the anime, but it was very good.

There were some parts that were rushed in the manga, I think I would have been confused by them if I hadn't seen the anime.  I think it would have been better if they ignored the anime (except for the character design) and based the manga off of the light novel.  They tried to copy what was done on the screen and some parts just didn't fit right in manga form.

The story was great though, and there were parts of the manga that I enjoyed more than the anime.  The very end of the arc, when Kirito gets to the hospital I liked better in the manga than the anime.  It was interesting to see the slight changes between the anime and manga, the tentacled scientists in the manga...shudder...they were awful, poor Asuna, in the anime they were just silly.  Then there was the final scene in the birdcage, that was way more awful in the anime than it was in the manga.

I give this arc a 8/10.  It's an awesome story, but I would recommend watching it rather than reading the manga.  But if you do read the manga it's awesome, but the manga gets an 8/10 while the anime gets a 10/10. The anime is just more awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment